Sunday, June 10, 2012
My son is going to tryout for his high school team in August, so for his combined 8th grade graduation, Catholic Confirmation and 15th birthday, I took him out to get fitted for new golf clubs.
We went to the Golf Exchange because their TV commercial featured the latest computer technology for fitting golf clubs. After I saw the TV ad, I went to the website and noticed that Golf Exchange was a Golf Digest Top 100 Fitter, The Ping Fitter of the Year, a Mizuno Top 100 Fitter and the Callaway 2012 Fitter of the Year.
I was sufficiently convinced, so on my son's birthday, we went to the Golf Exchange to get my son fitted for new clubs. The pro immediately asked me a bunch of questions about my son's objectives, golfing history and swing. The pro then asked my son to hit his own 6 iron in the cage to get warmed up, while he fired up the computer to analyze my son's swing.
My son started hitting the ball and numbers jumped up onto a computer screen.
He than gave my son a club with some special impact indicating tape affixed to the club head. After each shot, the pro would read the tape and then remove the head of the club and replace it with another that connected at a slightly different angle. The pro would then again put indicating tape on the club head and hand the club to my son. This continued until the optimal club head angle was determined.
The pro then asked my son to hit his driver. After a few swings were recorded, the pro called over another sales associate and they started whispering back and forth. I edged closer to try to hear the conversation, but I could not hear it clearly.
I was curious, so I asked the pro if there was a problem. He told me that there was no problem with my son's swing, in fact your son's numbers are truly amazing. The problem is that your son's driver cannot keep up with his incredible swing and it might be difficult to analyze your son's "pro-like" swing inside.
He asked me how far my son hits his driver. I hesitated thinking that he would not believe me, then I told him that he hits between 250 and 310 and on occasion farther than that. My son is 5 ft 8 and weighs 120 pounds, so I was waiting for that look from the pro that says, "I think that you are exaggerating a bit about your son." Instead, he said, "I am not surprised with these numbers. In fact, he is losing distance because of the incredibly high backwards rotation he is generating with his current club." He then told me that the right shaft on the driver will control that spin better and your son will be hitting 310+ consistently instead of occasionally.
The pro then showed the numbers to another pro in the shop. This sales pro happened to be the JV coach of a local high school. The JV coach was also amazed by the numbers and told me that my son can be a special player - we don't see numbers like that from 15 year olds very often.
The Main Point
If the pros at Golf Exchange were feeding me BS to get me to spend more than I intended, then they are the greatest bunch of actors in the world.
I bought my son Ping I 20s and scheduled an outside fitting for a new set of woods too. When I got home, I looked up the swing statistics for pros and they did match my son's numbers. I also read some Ping research that shows proper golf club fitting does make a difference.
Why would I not want to give my son every advantage as he tries out for the golf team. I sucker is born every minute, but a natural golf swing is not. I guess I will find out over the next couple of years which is more accurate.